- Holly Searle
- London, United Kingdom
- Holly Searle is a writer and an artist who was made in Soho and thereafter born in the heart of London. She has been blessed with two quite remarkable children and grandchildren whom she adores. She enjoys the company of her friends and the circus that is life, has a degree in Film and Television, and has exhibited her artwork in several exhibition.
Wednesday, 9 May 2018
C is For Cancer By Holly Searle
So, I have cancer.
How scary is that word?
When the consultant told me, I didn't hear another word he said after he said that word.
My mind just went into overdrive.
Am I going to die?
Is this how I am going to die?
Is this it?
How bad is it?
What the fuck.
The nurse found a room for us to talk in. The first thing she said was 'Well you probably didn't hear a word he said after he said the word Cancer. BUT, I am going to run through it all with you, so you understand exactly what is going on'.
And so she did.
I have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.
It's in my left breast. It's small, early and treatable.
If you could want to choose which cancer to have, it would be this one she said.
But I was still thinking, really, cancer?
My mind works like this: the day before I was told I had cancer, I knew nothing about it, but today I do. So I just need to know what and how to proceed from this point on to resolve it. I am the same person as I was yesterday, I now just have something else to deal with.
Then, I started to think emotionally about it.
I would quite like to be really old when I die. I would like to watch my grandchildren grow-up and see them blossom. I would like to see my son graduate from University and continue to be so so proud of my daughter's incredible ambition.
I would like to travel a bit more and finally move into a house with a garden and be kissed passionately by an as yet, unknown lover.
These are all of the thoughts that are knocking on the door of the cancer space in my head. I can't let those thoughts in right now until I know I am going to get rid of this parasite that has become an unwelcome guest in my body.
My surgeon asked me if I would like to feel the lump. I didn't really want too as I would rather not acknowledge its existence in my life: by doing that, would be having to admit to it being real. But, I did and it is.
What a massive pile of crap that is.
I am just going through the motions.
Because it is small, early and treatable, the prognosis based on all the science, looks good. However, until I have my initial op and the results that follow on from it, I am still holding my mental breath. I have pacified those knocking thoughts for now by posting a note on the door that simply says ' You'll know when I do.'
I know that cancer doesn't always equal death, but I think a lot of people do draw that conclusion. I know this from the reactions I have received. But, I also think that is the reaction that they would have if they had been given the news themselves.
I have never had cancer before and I hope I never have it again. I want it gone as I have too much to do.
As I have got older I have realised that the value of time and how and I spend it is the only currency of worth in my life, and I am going to spend as little of it as I possibly can on and with this cancer. It can do one.
It has certainly made me think about the relevant and irreverent on a daily basis, so much so that I wonder why I hadn't thought like that before.
For now, the future is several appointments prior to surgery and then then more pathology results, followed by (fingers crossed) some intense radiotherapy. Then, touch wood, my surgeon tells me that it should be as though I never had it.
Small, early, treatable.
He said to me 'Someone is watching over you, not once but twice. Once because you were called back, and twice because it is so small.'
Just between us, for a man of science to tell me this, gives me hope.